Comments Off on Parents of Summer Camp Drowning Victim File Suit Against Camp, Family Owners Suit alleges “negligent hiring, retention, supervision and training” in death of 6-year-old Roxie Forbes By EDDIE RIVERA, Community Editor with STEPHEN SICILIANO, Managing Editor Published : Monday, December 16, 2019 | 5:26 AM

Parents of Summer Camp Drowning Victim File Suit Against Camp, Family Owners Suit alleges “negligent hiring, retention, supervision and training” in death of 6-year-old Roxie Forbes By EDDIE RIVERA, Community Editor with STEPHEN SICILIANO, Managing Editor Published : Monday, December 16, 2019 | 5:26 AM

Posted by | December 18, 2019 | Drowning, Uncategorized

Six-year-old Pasadenan Roxie Forbes, a non-swimmer, drowned at the Altadena-based Summerkids Camp last June 28.

She was briefly resuscitated, but removed from life support the following day. Now her parents, Doug Forbes and Elena Matyas, have filed a lawsuit against the Summerkids Camp and its owners—eight members of the DiMassa family—and a number of others, including a licensed MD on the camp staff.

The suit, filed in Superior Court November 5, also names at least four other employees employed by Summercamp Kids.

The suit alleges that the camp’s “negligent hiring, retention, supervision and training” practices led to the wrongful death of their only child. The parents are demanding a jury trial.

According to the complaint, Forbes and Matyas are asking the court for an as-yet-undetermined sum, but called for additional “exemplary and punitive damages to make an example of and punish” the camp and its owners.

Roxie entered the camp pool June 28 at about 9:25 a.m., accompanied by her “counselor buddy,” Daniel H. “Hank” Rainey, said the complaint.

“Defendants,” claims the complaint, “knew it was unsafe for Roxie to have full access to the pool, but the Summerkids Camp staff including counselors and lifeguards did nothing to actually restrict Roxie to the steps or shallow end. Rather than safeguard Roxie, Rainey and Joseph Natalizio were distracted and preoccupied with other campers prior to the tragic drowning.”

“About ten to fifteen minutes after Roxie entered the swimming pool,” the complaint continued, “Robert Antonucci, a counselor who was working with other campers about thirty to forty-five feet outside the gate of the swimming pool was the first person to finally notice Roxie floating face down in the pool. When Robert Antonucci saw Roxie, she was floating approximately twenty feet away from the steps in four to four-and-a-half feet of water.”

Read more:

Comments Off on Dottie Weiner, Marco Island’s beloved swim instructor, dies at 97

Dottie Weiner, Marco Island’s beloved swim instructor, dies at 97

Posted by | December 11, 2019 | Uncategorized

Dottie Murray Weiner, swim instructor to thousands in Marco Island, died Nov. 24, according to a YMCA news release. She was 97.

“She loved teaching children to swim,” wrote Cindy Love-Abounader, CEO of YMCA of South Collier- Marco. “She touched many, many people’s lives and she will live forever within our hearts.”

Many kids, now adults, still remember her as “Miss Dottie.” 

Christina Perez, who was raised in Marco, said Weiner taught her how to swim. 

“She taught my sister and I how to swim of course, but I always remembered (her) as years went by as a strong woman,” Perez wrote in an email to the Eagle. “Strong, wonderful smile that would light up a room.”

“She remembered us most of the time and that made us feel special.”

Read more at:

Comments Off on 14-year-old swim team member drowns in Hillsboro pool

14-year-old swim team member drowns in Hillsboro pool

Posted by | November 22, 2019 | Drowning, Swim Team, Uncategorized

HILLSBORO, Ore. (KATU) – The Hillsboro Police Department identified the girl who was found drowned Wednesday night after a swim team practice as 14-year-old Nabila Maazouz.

Police said Maazouz was a freshman at Oregon Episcopal School and was a member of the Liberty High School swim team.

Investigators said the swim team pulled the cover over the Shute Park Aquatic & Recreation Center’s outdoor pool after practice Wednesday night. Police said the swimmers pulled the cover over it before they got out of the water.

“At the end of practice, the swimmers covered the pool with these blue tarps. When they were done with that, the swimmers got out of the water, they went inside and changed, and started to head home. It was at that point that they noticed Nabila was missing,” said Sgt. Eric Bunday of the Hillsboro Police Department.

Comments Off on Webinar- Building & Managing Effective Task Forces & Coalitions – NDPA

Webinar- Building & Managing Effective Task Forces & Coalitions – NDPA

Posted by | November 14, 2019 | Drowning, Drowning Prevention

Comments Off on Lifeguard Vigilance – NDPA Webinar

Lifeguard Vigilance – NDPA Webinar

Posted by | November 11, 2019 | Drowning Prevention, Lifeguards

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Posted by | October 23, 2019 | Uncategorized

Comments Off on 2020 USA Swimming Foundation Grant Applications Now Available to Swim Lesson Providers

2020 USA Swimming Foundation Grant Applications Now Available to Swim Lesson Providers

Posted by | October 17, 2019 | Uncategorized


The USA Swimming Foundation awards annual grants to Make a Splash Local Partners who provide services to young people who, otherwise, would not have the opportunity to participate in swimming lessons.

The 2020 Grant Window for USA Swimming Foundation funding is now open. Click below to apply.



  • October 1, 2019: 2020 USA Swimming Foundation Grant Applications Open
  • December 17, 2019: 2020 USA Swimming Foundation Grant Applications Due
  • March 2020: 2020 USA Swimming Foundation Grant recipients announced


Check out our informational webinar to learn the new processes, get your questions answered, and more!


Check out our informational webinar to learn the new processes, get your questions answered, and more!

Comments Off on American Academy of Pediatrics Updated Statement on the Prevention of Drowning

American Academy of Pediatrics Updated Statement on the Prevention of Drowning

Posted by | September 30, 2019 | Uncategorized

Guest Presenters: Dr. Julie Gilchrist Nicole Hughes Helene Holstein

Comments Off on National Drowning Prevention Association Webinar 7/3/19 – A Discussion on Community Based Water Safety Efforts

National Drowning Prevention Association Webinar 7/3/19 – A Discussion on Community Based Water Safety Efforts

Posted by | September 23, 2019 | Drowning, Drowning Prevention

Comments Off on Swimming coach ‘tortures’ babies in bizarre lessons she claims cures disabilities

Swimming coach ‘tortures’ babies in bizarre lessons she claims cures disabilities

Posted by | June 4, 2019 | Uncategorized

A swimming teacher claims she can cure infant’s disabilities by brutally dunking them in and out of the water, according to reports.

The Russian “exorcist” swimming coach, Elena Rodionova, forced the children head-first under the water before tossing them around.

Footage of her techniques have gone viral, with some concerned parents saying Rodionova was “torturing” her students.

“This woman is evil,” one mother wrote on Facebook.

“Only a sadist would do this to a child.”

‘Sent by God’


Comments Off on USA Swimming Foundation Awards $507,461 in the First Round of 2019 Grant Funding for Make a Splash Local Partners

USA Swimming Foundation Awards $507,461 in the First Round of 2019 Grant Funding for Make a Splash Local Partners

Posted by | March 27, 2019 | Drowning Prevention, Grants, Swim School, Swim Team, Swimmers, Swimming, Uncategorized, USA Swimming, Water Safety, YMCA

By USA Swimming Foundation  | Tuesday, March 26, 2019 

Funding for free or reduced-cost swim lessons to help children across the country

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The USA Swimming Foundation announced today that it has awarded $507,461 to learn-to-swim programs across the country through its first-round of 2019 grant funding for Make a Splash Local Partners. The grants will go towards swim lesson programs, providing 25,705 children with the opportunity to learn how to swim.

The USA Swimming Foundation vetted more than 240 applications through a competitive annual review process and chose 85 programs to receive funding, 26 of whom are first time USA Swimming Foundation grant recipients. Since 2007, the USA Swimming Foundation has awarded more than $6.2 million dollars to help fund learn-to-swim programs across the country. 

“It’s an incredible feeling to know that USA Swimming Foundation funding will be used to create a valuable swimming experience for tens of thousands of children who may not have had the opportunity to learn how to swim,” USA Swimming Foundation Executive Director Debbie Hesse said. “We are thrilled with the depth of this year’s Make a Splash Local Partner applicant pool and we couldn’t be prouder to support these exciting and lifesaving opportunities for children across the country. We owe a tremendous thank you to our partners and donors, who continue to make a difference.”

In 2018, through its Make a Splash Local Partner network, the USA Swimming Foundation helped provide more than 1.3 million children with swimming lessons. Together, the Foundation and their network of 1,000 swim lesson providers across the country are helping to spread national awareness on the importance of learning to swim and bringing together strategic partners to end drowning. More than 7.5 million children have now been served since 2007.

The following USA Swimming Foundation Make a Splash Local Partners will receive funding through this first round of 2019 grant awards: 

Akron Area YMCAAkron, OH
Allegan Public Schools
Allegan, MI

Ambush Swim School Nacogdoches, TX
Angels of America’s FallenColorado Springs, CO
Beatrice Mary Family YMCABeatrice, NE
Belle Chasse YMCABelle Chasse, LA
BGSU Recreation & WellnessBowling Green, OH
Bloomington Community EducationBloomington, MN
Bridgeport YMCABridgeport, CT
Brooklyn Center Community CenterBrooklyn Center, MN
Buffalo City Swim RacersBuffalo, NY
Charles River AquaticsLynnfield, MA
City of Arlington AquaticsArlington, TX
City of BakersfieldBakersfield, CA
City of Boynton BeachBoynton Beach, FL
City of Brooklyn ParkBrooklyn Park, MN
City of Jersey CityJersey City, NJ
City of New York Department of Parks & RecreationNew York, NY
City of South MiamiSouth Miami, FL
City of UrbandaleUrbandale, IA
City of West Palm BeachWest Palm Beach, FL
Dad’s Club Swim StartHouston, TX
DeKalb Aquatics Swim Team Inc.Snellville, GA
Duke UniversityDurham, NC
Everett YMCAEverett, WAFive Cities Swim Club INCArroyo Grande, CA
Fort Worth Drowning Prevention CoalitionFort Worth, TX
Fox Valley Family YMCAPlano, IL
Goldfish Swim School – Owings MillsOwings Mills, MD
Greater Milford Boys & Girls ClubMilford, DE
Greensboro Aquatic CenterGreensboro, NC
Greenview Dolphins Swim TeamColumbia, SC
Harris County Aquatic ProgramHouston, TX
Hawaii Aquatics AcademyKailua, HI
Holland Community Aquatic CenterHolland, MI
Horizons SavannahSavannah, GA
Hunterdon County YMCAAnnandale, NJ
Hurricane AquaticsCoral Gables, FL
Kenosha YMCAKenosha, WILeadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership, Inc.New Haven, CT
Machine Swim SchoolVienna, VA
Madison Area YMCAMadison, NJ
Metro Parks TacomaTacoma, WA
Metropolitan YMCA of OrangesHardyston, NJ
Muskegon YMCAMuskegon, MI
Newport Penguins Swim and Dive TeamNewport, KY
Robbinsdale Area Schools ISD #281Plymouth, MN
Rocklin Swim TeamRocklin, CASafeSplash Swim Schools-Little ElmFrisco, TX
SafeSplash Swim Schools-McKinneyMcKinney, TX
Salvation Army Boys & Girls ClubHouston, TX
Sandhills SandsharksSouthern Pines, SC
St. Lucie County Parks & Recreation-AquaticsFt. Pierce, FL
Swim Beyond LLCAtlanta,
GASWIMkids USA, Inc.Mesa,
AZSwimLabs Highlands RanchHighlands Ranch,
COSwimLabs El Dorado HillsEl Dorado Hills,
CASwimLabs LittletonLittleton,
COSwimtastic Swim School-Cape CoralCape Coral, FL
Swimtastic Swim School-Fort MyersFort Myers, FL
Swimtastic Swim School-NaplesNaples, FL
The Gateway Family YMCA- Rahway BranchRahway, NJ
The Greater Marco Family YMCAMarco Island, FL
The HUB Recreation CenterMarion, IL
The Roeper SchoolBloomfield Hills, MIUniversity of Houston, Recreation & Wellness CenterHouston, TX
Upper Valley Aquatic CenterWhite River Junction, VT
Valley of the Moon AquaticsSonoma, CA
Walter Schroeder Aquatic CenterBrown Deer, WI
West Cook YMCAOak Park, IL
Williams YMCA of Avery CountyLinville, NC
YMCA of Broome County, Binghamton BranchBinghamton, NY
YMCA of Broome County, West Family BranchJohnson City, NY
YMCA of DelawareWilmington, DEYMCA of Greater Charlotte,
Simmons BranchCharlotte, NCYMCA of Greater Kansas CityKansas City, MO
YMCA of Greater San AntonioSan Antonio, TX
YMCA of Kokomo IndianaKokomo, IN
YMCA of Marion & Polk CountiesSalem, OR
YMCA of Orange CountyTustin, CA
YMCA of the Greater Twin CitiesEdina, MN
YMCA of VinelandVineland, NJ
YMCA of Greater Houston AreaHouston, TX
YMCA of WaycrossWaycross, GA
YWCA Evanston North ShoreEvanston, IL

The USA Swimming Foundation works to strengthen the sport of swimming by raising funds to support programs that save lives and build champions, in the pool and in life. To find, get, or give a swim lesson visit:

To learn more about the USA Swimming Foundation and the Make a Splash initiative, including grant opportunities, please visit, or follow us at

Comments Off on Your city could host the Make a Splash Tour presented by Phillips 66

Your city could host the Make a Splash Tour presented by Phillips 66

Posted by | March 1, 2019 | Diversity, Drowning Prevention, USA Swimming, Water Safety

By USA Swimming Foundation  | Friday, February 22, 2019 

As the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash Tour presented by Phillips 66 enters its 11th year, with more than 50 stops across the country, we want you to tell us why your community deserves to host a tour stop as part of a national media campaign focusing on the importance of learning to swim!

The winning host will earn a coveted USA Swimming Foundation Make a Splash Tour stop in their city, including an appearance by a minimum of two USA Swimming Foundation Ambassadors, and a USA Swimming Foundation grant* to support swim lesson scholarships for children in their local community!

Host proposals are now being accepted for one of four 2019 Make a Splash Tour presented by Phillips 66 locations for a late-May, 2019 event date.**  The Foundation is seeking a comprehensive proposal package highlighting the community’s ability to promote the importance of learning to swim and water safety to a wide audience in a one-day format, to include, but not limited to:  national and local media opportunities; community engagement and involvement; and the ability to make a difference in your community through swimming lessons.  

The winning bid will be selected based on the host’s ability to support the primary goal of the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash Tour, raising awareness about the importance of learning to swim, by leveraging their relationships with local media, organizations, and the community at large to maximize the impact of the event. The winning bid will be a cooperative decision between representatives of the USA Swimming Foundation and Phillips 66.

Interested parties must complete the online proposal application using the link provided below no later than Friday, March 8, 2019 at 5pm EST.  The winning bid will be announced on or before March 15, 2019. 

In addition to the initial announcement and all subsequent USA Swimming Foundation event promotions, the USA Swimming Foundation will provide a minimum of two USA Swimming Foundation Ambassadors, signage and event branding, USA Swimming Foundation Make a Splash protocol and educational materials for participants/attendees, USA Swimming Foundation event, Public Relations, photography and videography support, and a grant to the host organization to support swim lesson opportunities for children in the community.  

Upon selection, parties involved in the winning bid must meet the minimum requirements for, and be willing and able to participate in, the appropriate USA Swimming Foundation Make a Splash network (Local Partner, Task Force, Affiliate); the requirements of which can be located here: .  Parties involved in the winning bid [depending how previously defined] may be required to complete, sign, and return to USA Swimming Foundation a W-9, an affidavit of eligibility, a grant agreement, and a liability and publicity release.  

For questions regarding the bid process or the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash Tour, please contact us at [email protected], 719-866-3546.

*USA Swimming Foundation grants for swim lessons must be directed to a provider of swim lessons

** Specific date to be determined based on host, athlete, and Foundation availability

Click here to view official contest rules. 

The USA Swimming Foundation seeks to raise national awareness about the importance of learning to swim.  Entering its 11th year, the Make a Splash Tour presented by Phillips 66 visits cities across America with the help of USA Swimming Foundation Ambassadors and National Team athletes to spread the life-saving message of learn-to-swim to children, families, and communities.  The Tour has enhanced publicity and expanded the reach of the Make a Splash initiative to a wide audience of parents, learn-to-swim providers, educators, and community leaders, and received extensive national media exposure in outlets such as Sports Illustrated, the Today Show, HBO Real Sports and more.  To learn more about the USA Swimming Foundation and the Make a Splash Tour presented by Phillips 66, visit

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Posted by | February 15, 2019 | Uncategorized

Consolidation of Equals to Expand Influence and Effectiveness Across Aquatics Industry

Colorado Springs, COLORADO, and Alexandria, VA, January 22, 2019­—The National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF) and the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) today announced that the organizations will unify to form the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance.  The unification was approved by the boards of directors of both organizations on January 18 and 19, respectively, and work is currently underway to establish and formalize governance, structure, and operations.  The unified organization is scheduled to officially begin operations on April 1.

The new organization will operate with The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance as the umbrella, leading industrywide advocacy, alliances and promotions.  Trade and foundation activities will be conducted separately for procedural and legal purposes, under the banners of The Pool & Hot Tub Professionals Association, and The Pool & Hot Tub Foundation, respectively.

All three groups will be governed by a single Board of Directors to ensure sustained unity of mission and vision, and will be initially composed of five members each from the current boards of NSPF and APSP.  Those members are:  from APSP, Chris Curcio, Scott Frost, Rich Garbee, Andrew Levinson, and Donna Williams; and from NSPF, Rob Butcher, Karl Frykman, Franceen Gonzalez, James R. Mock, and Anita Sayed, Ph.D.

“Industry leaders and our members and stakeholders increasingly realized that as our industry has continued to evolve and grow, there was tremendous, uncaptured potential to maximize our collective investments and talents for the greater good,” said Lawrence (Larry) Caniglia, CEO of APSP, in explaining why the unification is taking place after a similar effort was abandoned in 2016.  “We are excited to announce that this potential will now be realized.”

Caniglia, who had earlier told the APSP Board that he planned to retire in February 2019, has agreed to stay on as interim CEO of the consolidated organization until the new board can hire a full-time, permanent CEO; and Mock has agreed to serve as The Pool & Hot Tub Foundation’s interim Executive Director.

The new unified Board of Directors plans to hold its first, organizational meeting in mid-March to begin the longer term process of integration, with the goal of beginning the search for a permanent CEO, determining staffing requirements and locations for core services and programs.  Integration efforts are expected to continue through 2019.

“This is a historic moment for all of us,” said APSP Board Chairman Donna Williams, “as we are capitalizing on the considerable groundwork that was laid over the past few years to finally realize the enormous benefits of bringing together the two most established and effective organizations serving our industry.”

“We, APSP and NSPF, are seizing the opportunity to have a greater impact,” said NSPF President Rob Butcher. Under the new Alliance, our combined resources will allow us to amplify and more effectively promote the fun and benefits of swimming, of being in the water, pools and hot tubs; we will be able to put more resources into water safety; and we will be able to better protect the interests of all our stakeholders and members,” he said.

The leaders of both NSPF and APSP agreed that the new structure, with its “Celebrate the Water” mission, will offer greater community benefits by facilitating the expansion of swimming, water safety and related research and outreach activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming, making swimming environments safer, and keeping pools open to serve communities.

In addition, the unified organization will expand growth opportunities for aquatics professionals and businesses by promoting demand for swimming and increasing the efficient delivery of educational and training opportunities.

Finally, by speaking with a single, united advocacy voice, The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance will be better positioned to protect the interests of the industry through an unprecedented and expanded network that includes both nationwide and international alliances and relationships.

Under The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance, stakeholders and members of the two founding organizations will benefit from the full array of education, training, certification, advocacy, promotion, research, grantmaking and support services currently delivered by APSP and NSPF separately, while combining infrastructures, networks, affiliations, and resources, and eliminating duplication of programs to provide the greatest value and impact.

The Pool & Hot Tub Professionals Association will be the 501(c)(6) trade organization to manage certifications, standards, volunteer workforce opportunities, awards and member services, while The Pool & Hot Tub Foundation will be the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization to manage education, publications, research, fundraising, and grantmaking.

To assist the new Board of Directors with the integration process, APSP and NSPF have established a unification working group task force, comprised of leaders from both organizations to finalize governing documents, develop branding and logos, appoint officers and begin developing enterprise-wide business strategies and plans that will include early communications with all members and stakeholders.

The two groups have agreed there will be no immediate changes to programming, including scheduled activities of chapters, councils, and 2019 events and trade shows, and services will continue to be provided by both staffs, which will remain in place at their current locations throughout the integration process.

“We recognize this is no small task we have set for ourselves,” Caniglia said, “But we also believe APSP and NSPF have extraordinarily talented staffs, with extensive industry experience, and with their help we will move forward to pool our strengths for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”

About the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals
The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) is the world’s oldest and largest association representing swimming pool, hot tub, and spa manufacturers, distributors, manufacturers’ agents, designers, builders, installers, suppliers, retailers, and service professionals.  Dedicated to the growth and development of its members’ businesses and to promoting the enjoyment and safety of pools and spas, APSP offers a range of services, from professional development to advancing key legislation and regulation at the federal and local levels, to consumer outreach and public safety.  APSP is the only industry organization recognized by the American National Standards Institute to develop and promote national standards for pools, hot tubs, and spas. For more information, visit

About National Swimming Pool Foundation®
We believe everything we do helps people live happier and healthier lives. Whether it’s encouraging more aquatic activity, making pools safer, or keeping pools open, we believe we can make a difference. Founded in 1965 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit and located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, NSPF proceeds go to fund education, research, and to help create swimmers. Visit or call 719-540-9119 to learn more about the NSPF family of products, programs, and services.

Source: –   National Swimming Pool Foundation

Comments Off on Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And The Right To Swim

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And The Right To Swim

Posted by | January 22, 2019 | Uncategorized

by BRUCE WIGO15 January 2018, 10:54am

On the national holiday remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we remember his love of swimming and the role he played in making swimming accessible to all.

In the summer of 1964, while congress was debating the passage of the Civil Rights Act, Dr. King sent the future Mayor of Atlanta and US Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young to St. Augustine, Florida to calm the racial tensions that had been brewing for years.

While leading a peaceful march through the City, Young was attacked and beaten by an angry mob of segregationists on the evening of June 9th. A few days later, Dr. King arrived in St. Augustine and was arrested in an attempt to integrate the restaurant at the Monson Motel.  The following week, a group of “integrationists” staged a “swim-in” at the same motel’s pool. READ MORE…  

Source: Swimming World Magazine

Comments Off on Active Lifeguarding Saves Lives!

Active Lifeguarding Saves Lives!

Posted by | January 13, 2019 | Drowning Prevention, Lifeguard Jobs, Lifeguards, Water Safety

By USA Management

We have all seen the cliché of the lifeguard sitting in the stand with dark sunglasses, relaxed, a rescue tube nearby and twirling their whistle. The chances are strong that you may believe that is the job of a lifeguard. Well, the times have changed. Newton’s First Law of Motion states that a body at rest will remain at rest, unless an outside force acts on it, and a body in motion will remain in motion.  Our understanding of the physiological impact of motion as it relates to water safety and lifeguards has evolved. We believe that lifeguards can help drastically change the drowning statistics using three primary tools.

  1. Active lifeguarding
  2. Parents Supervising their children
  3. Risk management – (Who can/cannot swim)

The overwhelming reality is that nearly 3,600 people unintentionally drown annually in the United States alone. One in five drownings are children under the age of 14. Children between the ages of 1-4 years old are the second leading cause of death. The lifeguard industry must adapt and get Serious On Safety™ (SOS). Research and training enhancements are leading aquatic professionals to embrace a new lifeguarding mantra that is called ”Active Lifeguarding”. What is Active Lifeguarding? A certified swimmer who constantly is in a state of motion enforcing water safety rules and ready to assist patrons that have a need.

A lifeguard’s main responsibility is to enforce water safety rules by encouraging parents to be responsible for their child’s safety. If an incident were to occur around water or at an aquatic facility a lifeguard training is in proving first response to a victim. Parents Supervise – Lifeguards Save Lives!  A lifeguards success deeply depends on having a fresh mind and a constant awareness of who can and cannot swim. Children are not the only high risks around water. Many adults are non-swimmers or have poor swimming abilities. Understanding that a lifeguards focus is observing swimmers within their zone requires regular awareness and parental supervision. Historically lifeguards sit in a chair and watch. Now Active Lifeguarding relies on the physical movement of a lifeguard as well as the changing of body position while moving their eyes along every square foot of their zone to maintain focus on each swimmer as well as identifying their highest risk. Each lifeguard should take measured deliberate paces from their station, 20 paces to the left and 20 paces to the right, while scanning their zone.  Most importantly a lifeguard must always identify their highest risks and address each risk in a proactive manner. EXAMPLE: If a lifeguard is actively scanning their zone and identifies a non-swimmer without a parent or a guardian providing touch-supervision than that lifeguard would take action by having the identified non-swimmer removed from the water until proper touch-supervision is provided. Lifeguards are NOT “water-sitters”. Active lifeguarding techniques help to keep lifeguards in an alert and ready position allowing them a quicker response time should an incident arise. As the lifeguard actively moves within their station while scanning their zone with full body motion of pacing, counting swimmers, identifying who can swim and locate their highest risk water users breaks up the monotony of a rotation and allows their mind to remain focused on task of enforcing water safety rules. It is imperative for children that cannot swim or are poor swimmers to be properly supervised by their parents at all times! This active approach has drastically reduced the need for lifeguard stands and, in most cases, eliminates the need for one.

Parental supervision and identifying non-swimmers are critical to drowning reduction. As research has shown the majority of drowning victims cannot swim. When patrons enter a swimming facility a lifeguard team cannot assume that patrons will make safe decisions. Furthermore, lifeguards cannot assume that everyone can swim. Due to the aforementioned facts and statistics, it is recommended that all children under 14 years old must be tested to identify their swimming skills. After each child is tested for their swimming skills then each child should be “tagged” and recorded. A red or yellow armband tag usually denotes non-swimmers and therefore must have proper parental or guardian supervision. A green armband tag usually denotes unrestricted swimming and then should be within their parents or guardians site and swim with a buddy (the buddy system). This mandatory screening allows the lifeguard staff to manage the water responsibly by enforcing touch-supervision for non-swimmers. Equally important to incident response is incident prevention. This process of screening and identifying risk empowers lifeguards to be more effective in doing their duty.

These techniques allow lifeguards to make overall risk management decisions on how to safely protect swimmers and non-swimmers in and around water. Facility operators when equipped with these basic principles will be able to structure various areas to allow everyone to enjoy water safely. In order to assist facilities and promote water safety awareness in communities signage and literature should be visual posted and engaging to help explain these important methods.  To help promote water safety awareness aquatic facilities should have proper signage and literature to help explain the importance of these methods. Educating children and making parents aware of the dangers in and around water will help empower your lifeguard staff. Watch Around Water™ (WAW) is a good resource to use in helping raise awareness for the safety of children in and around water. Understanding that the solution to attacking the drowning statistics starts with awareness and compelling parents to be accountable for their children, especially around water. The old adage that “Safety starts at home” is very true. The undeniable solution for risk management is to test all children under 14, properly identify swimmer and non-swimmer, label them properly to allow for easy identification, mandate parental supervision by enforcing touch-supervision, support the buddy system (no swimming alone), and finally implement Active Lifeguarding practices for your lifeguards/first responders to manage swim zones in an alert, focused, motion driven, actively engaging water scanning routine.

USA Managment